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glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's tuesday, august 27th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. united nations inspectors are pressing lead in syria even after coming under attack. they're looking into allegations about the use of chemical weapons in the syrian civil war,
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but they were delayed when snipers started shooting at them. the investigators set out to look into claims that last wednesday government forces used poison gas on opposition neighborhoods. but unidentified gunmen started shooting at their convoy crippling one of their vehicles. no one was hurt. the inspectors switched vehicles and continued on their way. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon launched a protest through the mission leader in syria. >> i from instructed them to reduce the strong imprint to the syrian government of opposition forces so that this will never happen. >> opposition forces say government forces killed hundreds of people in the attacks last wednesday. the inspectors visited two
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hospitals to collect blood samples from patients. and they're planning to visit three other sites where the takens are alleged to have taken place. u.s. secretary of state john kerry said there's undeniable evidence of a large scale chemical weapons attack. >> president obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the word's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people. >> they've been contacting u.s. allies to discuss ways to respond. they plan to carry on with their work, but experts are divided about whether chemical weapons were even used. more from nhk world's chie yamagishi. >> reporter: opposition leaders say the syrian military used
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chemical weapons last wednesday to hit targets in the suburbs of damascus. they say hundreds of people were killed, government officials argue the claims are baseless. members of the u.n. security council have expressed concern. syrian leaders first refused to grant a team of u.n. inspectors access to the site of the alleged attacks. international pressure caused them to reverse that decision. opinions vary on whether chemical weapons were used. spokespersons for doctors without borders say about 3,600 people went to hospitals after the alleged attacks. they say 355 of them died. >> what we can tell that important number of patients, very important number of patients, they came within three hours with neurotoxic symptoms and this is not normal. we are almost sure even 100%
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sure that neurotoxic agent had been used. >> reporter: but an israeli expert in chemical weapons takes a different view. >> i didn't see any symptoms that are classically belong to chemical warfare attack, which are convulsions, sweating, excretions from the mouth or from the nose. >> reporter: he says agents such as cyanide might have been used instead. even though no firm conclusion has been made about what happened, some world leaders are raising the possibility of the use of force. >> translator: the chemical massacre that has occurred in syria and for which the regime is evidently responsible is unacceptable. the position of france, which i hope is the position of all
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democracies, is that there must be a strong reaction. >> reporter: u.s. president barack obama is cautioning against a hasty decision. still, american media reported that u.s. naval forces have already been dispatched toward syria's coastal waters. russian officials are concerned about the possible military response. foreign minister sergei lavrov reportedly urged restraint when talking to his u.s. counterpart. the united states and its allies say killing by syrian forces near the site of the alleged attacks has destroyed evidence. the next step in this long running civil war could depend on the conclusions of the u.n. inspectors. chie yamagishi, nhk world. >> syria's president bashar al assad has set out his stance on
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the issue. he told a russian newspaper that accusations of chemical attacks made no sense. assad said his troops would not use chemical weapons in an area with no clear front line between the two sides. he accused the rebels and said they were the ones who used the weapons. russia's foreign minister sergey lavrov also weighed in. he said on monday there's no evidence assad used chemical weapons and he said using force against syria without u.n. support would violate international law. he added that a u.s. or european intervention would just lead to more bloodshed. time for the latest in business news. let's go to ai uchida. how are the developments in syria affecting how investors react? >> well you mentioned john kerry, catherine, u.s. secretary of state. his comments made investors on wall street anxious over geopolitical risks. share prices fell sharply after
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his comments, giving up gains in the last hour of trading. the dow jones industrial average closed at 14,946, down 0.4%. to see how japanese stocks are reacting we head over to ramin mellegard. how are tokyo stocks looking? >> good morning to you, ai. let's check the opening levels for august 27th in tokyo and go into how events overseas may affect various sectors and shares. both indexes in the negative as you can see and investors becoming worried after john kerry said syria's use of chemical weapons is undeniable. there are concerned tensions regarding syria could escalate. judging by the way crude oil, gold and treasuries have traded higher, they are shifting funds into the relative safety of those specific assets so we'll check commodity related shares, some of the japanese trading
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houses. also looking at key durable goods exports, on monday the u.s. showed a 7.3% in july, the biggest fall in nearly a year. lot of companies export a large percentage of their products to the u.s. so a drop in durable goods orders or consumer confidence or consumer demand will be crucial to japanese companies so that's a big focus as well. we also need to monitor domestic issues here, developments also over the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant operated by tokyo electric power company or tepco. its shares have fallen around 26% just in the last six trading days so that's a big focus there, again concerns about leakage of radioactive water at one of its facilities so some domestic focus as well. ai? >> ramin, we'll be getting key u.s. housing data later on. where is the dollar trading now and how might it be affected?
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>> very important point, of course, ai, and the dollar has taken a few hits following recent less than spectacular data and the case shiller home price index is a big focus. many in the markets don't think it's going to change the way the federal reserve plans to start to pull back on its current bond buying program. basically housing and next week's jobs numbers will be a big focus and the debt ceiling and i know you'll have more on that later as well, ai, dollar/yen, 98.30-31, euro yen 131.47-53. also key data on friday, eurozone unemployment as well as inflation data so a big focus there but a negative start so far. ai, back to you. >> ramin, thanks for that update, ramin mellegard from the tokyo stock exchange. executives at japanese
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airline ana holdings are looking to the aviation market in asia and seeing opportunities. they're preparing to acquire a large stake in a domestic carrier in myanmar. the firm's board of directors is expected to approve the purchase of 49% of asian wings airways. the acquisition will cost $2 billion yen or about $20 million. they began in 2011, the tie-up marks the first investment by a foreign firm in myanmar's airline industry. executives hope to cash in on the expanding market for travel in the southeast asian countries. they'll send a team oferts so help the meon march carrier improve its fleet maintenance and on board services. u.s. treasury secretary jack lew is urging congress to raise
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the borrowing limit as soon as possible. lew is calling on lawmakers to take immediate action before the nation hits the debt ceiling. the government reached its borrowing limit of about $16.7 trillion in may. it's legally prohibited from taking on more debt. government officials have used emergency measures to avoid defaulting on obligations. they've seen called on pension funds for federal workers. the differences between democrats and republicans have stymied debate on raising the debt ceiling. the u.s. faced a similar scenario in 2011 when the government came close to defaulting on its debt, that led to a downgrade of its credit rating. treasury secretary lew is warning a default would deal a heavy blow to financial markets around the world. more headlines in business the next hour. i'll leave you with a check on the markets.
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the united nations secretary-general has urged japanese leaders to do some soul searching. ban ki-moon says their understanding of history is straining ties with south korea and china. pow he was responding to a question from a reporter visiting south korea. the reporter asked for his views on how conflicting interpretations of history are hurting relations between countries in northeast asia. ban said the tension was regrettable and pinned the blame on japan's leaders. >> translator: the japanese government and political leaders need to reflect deeply.
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they need to have an international and future oriented vision. >> japan's prime minister said his administration's approach is to leave historical issues to the experts. still, shinzo abe said regional leaders should take time to exchange views to maintain piece and stability. markheduring a visit to kuwait. abe said he would continue to call for talks with chinese president xi jinping and south korean president park guen-hye. he would look for opportunities to meet on the sidelines of upcoming international conferences. the people of japan and ukraine share the experience of overcoming a nuclear disaster. the foreign ministers of the two countries have agreed to do more to cooperate in studying the effects opinion they agreed share what they learned at the disasters in chernobyl in 1986 and fukushima daiichi in 2011
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and they agreed on a joint project to study the spread of radiation in fukushima. they'll use ukrainian rockets to launch japanese microsatellites to determine how radioactive materials have dispersed. >> translator: japan and ukraine face the same challenges. i hope we can work closely together. >> he said the japanese government will try to regain the trust of other countries. he said government officials will disclose more information about how they're cleaning up after the disaster in fukushima. israeli troops shot and killed three palestinians in a raid on a refugee camp in the west bank. a palestinian spokesperson said it could derail the recently started peace talks. israeli military leaders say their soldiers were trying to arrest a suspected terrorist. they said hundreds of
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palestinians poured into streets hurling fire bombs. they say their officers had no choice but to open fire. palestinian medical officials say the casualties were all young protesters. at least 15 other palestinians were wounded. u.s. diplomats convinced israeli and palestinian negotiators to resume talks last month after a three-year hiatus. the leaders of afghanistan and pakistan held talks on monday to try to kick start efforts to negotiate with the taliban. afghan president hamid karzai met with pakistani prime minister nawaz sharif in liz llama bad with the clock ticking before troops are scheduled to withdraw from acspan. nhk world's masaki suta reports. >> reporter: president karzai's visit was his first since musharraf became prime minister to akistan in june.
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encourage the taliban to return to the negotiating table. >> i've come, mr. prime minister, to meet with you, and to advance the course of action together by having a common campaign to make sure that the two countries are safer, and prosperous towards a secure future. >> reporter: securing a peace agreement with the taliban is the sing the most important issue for karzai. the militant group has been stepping up attacks as international troops prepare to withdraw from afghanistan. but the taliban has so far refused to talk to the karzai administration, accusing it of being a puppet of the united states. a peace deal is also an
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important goal for the united states. in june, the u.s. tried to launch direct talks with the taliban which opens channels for discussions, but that move angered president karzai. he saw it as an attempt to bypass his government. and the dialogue was postponed. to break the impasse, karzai has been asking pakistan to release detained taliban leaders who have opposing attitudes toward negotiations. >> i believe pakistan's strong and sincere support for peace in reconciliation in afghanistan. >> reporter: the two leaders hld a press conference after their meeting. both sides indicated a positive attitude, but few details were made public, and it remains unclear what real progress was made.
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masaki suda, nhk world, islamab islamabad. ♪ these traditional japanese drummers are keeping in sync as they beat out a rhythm. most have hearing impairments but they've managed to overcome their difficulties to the delight of their audiences. >> reporter: both children and adults play in this troupe called shinkyo which means touching the heart. most members have hearing problems. as they can't learn the music by listening, they watch the instructor's hand movements and memorize them. they adjust the force of their beat by sensing vibration in their hand.
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mihoyu ozawa, who also has a hearing impairment is the leader. she took up drumming in her 20s. as she worked tenaciously to develop her skills, she was inspired to face her impairment head-on. playing the drums held her realize her childhood dreams. >> translator: drumming has made me more cheerful and positive and that enabled me to pursue a new challenge, dog grooming. >> reporter: ozawa wants to help others become more confident by playing the drums just like her. now she teaches children. nanami motegi joined shinkyo last autumautumn. her parents hoped performing with the group would overcome her shyness and gain more confidence.
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but sometimes she doesn't keep up with the group. if the group is to stay in sync, all of them, nanami included, can't look away from each other, not for an instant. that's a tall order for a child but ozawa has been guiding and encouraging nanami. finally, it's the day of the performance. this is nanami's first concert in front of so many people. even ozawa is tense. nanami focuses hard on staying in sync with the group and stays in time right through 'til the end.
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everyone in the audience, whether or not they were hearing impaired, applauded in sign language. >> translator: even though they cannot hear, they gave a wonderful performance. it was really touching. >> translator: i was so moved. bravo! >> reporter: ozawa's compliment seems to have given nanami confidence. >> translator: there is nothing you can't do. i want to tell everyone that they can succeed if they try. >> reporter: ozawa hopes the performances will warm the hearts of group members and
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audiences. little by little, her wish is coming true. time now for a check on the weather. people are feeling pleasantly cool this morning. sayaka mori joins us this morning. what can we expect up ahead? >> yes, catherine, it's like a start of fall, relatively cool with low humidity. sunny skies in tokyo will continue for the next couple of days, but if you look at the north, conditions are different. we're expecting very wet conditions starting this afteoon.rn damaging winds, thunderstorms and even tornadic activities cannot be ruled out in hokkaido and parts of the tohoku region this afternoon. and across the west, moderate to heavy rain is likely to fall for northern areas of china and further down towards the south we have a tropical storm that's packing winds of about -- quite strong winds. 72 kilometers with gusts of 108 kilometers per hour. it's directly affecting luzon with rain and strong winds.
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it looks like it will move up to the north while intensifying. it could hit taiwan by a severe tropical storm by thursday morning local time. the sea surface temperature is quite warm enough to energize the system so it could intensify into a typhoon by friday. so very heavy rain is likely to fall in taiwan starting thursday or starting wednesday or thursday. that's not good news because this area is still working on the recovery efforts due to the tropical storm. but for now heavy rain will be found across northern areas of the philippines. probably is 200 mill meters or more is expected in some places enough to trigger further flooding or landslides. and the western coast of the philippines will receive torrents of heavy rain due to the enhanced southwest monsoon. across north america, first of all, i want to show you this video from california. wildfires there.
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there's trouble for yogi bear in yosemite national park in california. firefighters are struggling to contain a colossal wildfire. they're calling it the rim fire. it's already burned 54,000 hectares. and it's come with three kilometers of key reservoir that supplies most of san francisco's water. currently 40 wildfires are occurring across the western parts of the u.s., but yesterday that was 50, so 10 fewer. heavy monsoonal showers are helping the situation improving and more widespread heavy rain is likely. hopefully that could prevent the situation even further, but that means the rain won't fall across the northwest. severe weather is occurring across the midwestern u.s. up into the northeastern u.s. the primary effects will be damaging winds as well as large hail. and heavy rain southwest of mexico as well due to the remains of a tropical storm. temperatures are very high in the midsection of the u.s. going up to 39 in des moines.
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with humidity you'd feel much hotter than this number. and 32 degrees on your tuesday. across europe, dry and pleasant across the north but our lingering showers are causing some flood risk across the central and southern parts of europe. lots of rain, thunderstorms as well as a funnel cloud have been reported in many places. now, conditions will remain on the unsettled side into the next 20 or 48 hours. so that risk of flooding will get even higher. temperatures are very pleasant in many locations. 18 degrees for you in moscow. and 24 in kiev. here's the extended forecast.
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residents at japan's newest unesco world heritage site have welcomed visitors to mt. fuji for an annual fire festival. monks invited revelers to the kitakuji shrine at the foot of the mountain. the festival stretches back more than 00 years. participants have portable shrines to the city. one featured a model of mt. fuji and they set 92 torches aflame along the 2.5 kilometer route. >> translator: as mt. fuji has been registered as a unesco world heritage site, people should strive to protect this great mountain. >> people paid special attention
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to this year's festival after mt. fuji's inclusion recently as a world registered heritage site. and that is all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks very much for watching.
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captioning sponsored by >> ifill: the obama administration declared today the syrian government did use poison gas on its citizens and the u.s. will hold the assad regime accountable. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, after facing sniper fire, u.n. inspectors arrived at the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack in syria.. we have the latest on the investigation, and look at options on the table for a u.s. response. >> ifill: a massive wildfire nearos

PBS August 26, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 18, Syria 10, Tokyo 7, U.n. 6, Taliban 4, Nhk 4, Ozawa 4, United States 3, Fuji 3, John Kerry 3, Karzai 3, Pakistan 3, Afghanistan 3, Assad 2, Fukushima Daiichi 2, Ramin Mellegard 2, Unesco 2, Catherine Kobayashi 2, United Nations 2, South Korea 2
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